More revenue for Twitter on the way: The company confirms — for the first time we’ve seen, at least — age-old theories that they’ll sell commercial accounts to power users or companies using Twitter.
In exchange for a fee, companies could get “more features” on Twitter, the WSJ reports. Twitter cofounder Biz Stone tells the WSJ that the company recently hired a product manager to help develop those accounts, but doesn’t specify what the extra features will be or when the accounts will launch.
This makes perfect sense. There’s a lot of stuff companies would pay Twitter for, such as a way to verify the company rep’s legitimacy; to more analytics and information about who is reading their Twitter page; to better tracking features to see what people are saying about their company.
What would you pay for an account like this? We could see a lot of companies paying $10 or $20 a month for the service, even for simple tools. But we could also see many companies — Comcast, JetBlue, Starbucks, etc. — paying more than one hundred dollars per month for really good, insightful tools.
We were able to get in touch with Twitter cofounder Biz Stone, who affirmed that Twitter does plan to offer for-fee commercial features at some point. Key point: Companies and individuals will always be able to use Twitter for free; the for-sale features will be add-ons.
Stone, via email:
Commercial entities like Whole Foods, Starbucks, Mission Pie, 52 Teas, JetBlue, even the Korean taco truck guy are all on Twitter—users and businesses alike are finding value.
Our question is, how can we help? What can Twitter offer for a fee that will improve the experience? Will it be account verification? Will it be lightweight analytics? Will there be opportunities for introducing customers to businesses on Twitter.
So many questions. But the key is to understand that Twitter will remain free for all to use—individuals and companies alike. We are thinking about simple business products that enhance and encourage what is already happening.
Makes sense. And, like its unobtrusive text ads, a way to grow Twitter’s revenues that — if done right — won’t tick off its rapidly growing user base.
Update 2: Based on your comments below, we’ve published “6 features Twitter users say they’d pay for.”
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